Document Type


Publication Title

Middle School Journal

Publication Date


Published Version

Originally published:

Downes, J. M., Bishop, P. A., & Nagle, J. F. (2017). Tapping the experts in effective practices: Students as educators in middle grades professional development. Middle School Journal, 48(4), 27-35.


Although middle grades proponents call for specialist teacher preparation, and often herald student voice as critical to successful middle grades programs, young adolescents are rarely provided a role in teacher education. In this article, we explore the potential of student involvement in middle grades teacher education. We first briefly examine the benefits of student involvement in teacher education in general. Next, we describe the context of a summer professional development institute in which young adolescents assist and support the development of teachers, outlining the methods we used to examine our practices. Then, we share teachers’ and students’ perceptions of the model, highlighting specific approaches and promising practices. Finally, we offer recommendations and remaining questions for integrating students into middle grades teacher education.



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